Survivors of Suicide: Elizabeth McLellan – Midland Reporter

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Posted: Thursday, October 2, 2014 2:20 am

Updated: 2:53 am, Thu Oct 2, 2014.

Survivors of Suicide: Elizabeth McLellan

Tyler White |

Midland Reporter-Telegram


Midlander Elizabeth McLellan shares her story of what it’s like to be left behind following the suicide of her father.


What is mental illness?

  • Mood disorders involve persistent feelings of sadness or periods of feeling overly happy. Sometimes moods may fluctuate from one extreme to another. Common mood disorders include depression and bipolar disorder.
  • Anxiety disorders include panic attacks, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Eating disorders involve extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors about food, weight, and self-image. Anorexia is when someone doesn’t eat enough and becomes very thin. Bulimia is when someone overeats, then purges, such as by forced vomiting. People with bulimia may be of normal weight.
  • People with personality disorders have extreme and inflexible personality traits. They may have trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people. Two common disorders are antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.
  • A substance use disorder is the repeated use of alcohol or drugs. Substance use disorders make it difficult for people to meet family, work, or school obligations. Some people with a mental health disorder may also have a substance use disorder.
  • Psychotic disorders are when someone loses contact with reality and experiences hallucinations or delusions. For example, schizophrenia is a disorder that can be characterized by hallucinations or delusional thoughts.
  • Suicidal behavior involves thoughts of wanting to die or trying to kill oneself. People who are suicidal often experience feelings of extreme sadness and hopelessness.

Mental illness symptoms:

  • Frequent sadness or changes in mood or behavior
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Not wanting to go to school or work
  • Fighting with family and friends
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Hopelessness
  • Feeling confused, angry, forgetful, edgy, or upset
  • Wanting to hurt oneself or others
  • Hearing voices
  • Isolation or acting distant
  • Sharing thoughts of suicide

Substance abuse symptoms:

  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Unhealthy appearance
  • Frequently missing school or work
  • Money problems
  • Changes in friends, hangouts, or hobbies
  • Getting into fights, accidents, or breaking the law
  • Striking change in personality or behavior


— Mental health

Call: 2-1-1


— Substance Abuse

Call: 1-877-9-NO DRUG (1-877-966-3784)


— National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)


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Thursday, October 2, 2014 2:20 am.

Updated: 2:53 am.